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Reviewed June 5, 2011

Caroline Marinelli has relaunched La Lucarne and made it buzz again - it was closed for some time after Leslie Caron put it up for sale. The rooms are as they were when we last stayed here in 2000 and 2002: charming, a bit on the sparse side - but at prices lower than we paid then, so excellent value.
The restaurant cuisine is good, if not quite of the standard created by Mr Inagaki before his retirement in 2008 - but again, the prices are much more competitive than they were. Service is friendly, the maitre d' is knowledgeable and efficient. And the location is idyllic: on the banks of the gentle river Yonne.

Room Tip: 3 unique rooms with river views; 4th great value.
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank CliftonMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 13, 2008

The Auberge is charming to look at & is in a wonderful location on the banks of the river near a beautiful stone bridge. The town is quiet but pretty.

The dining room has lovely views onto the river. We ate there the 2 nights we stayed in the Auberge. The food was good home cooking & I mean that as a compliment. We enjoyed both meals very much. They have a good selection of wines in the half bottle which suited us well.

Unfortunately our room although pretty to look at was very uncomfortable. All the chairs were either rickety or had little or no stuffing. The bed was one of the 5 most uncomfortable I have ever slept on. The highly polished wooden floor was slippery & treacherous.

The bath, on a raised platform, in the bedroom was difficult to use without making a complete mess.

The toilet was in a separate room but it also contained a boiler so all night you had the noise of it boosting on & off. The room is above the restaurant (although there were rooms on the floor below us) so for much of the day & night the room was filled with the smell of cooking.

The house keeping was just ok - there was a large & i mean large - cobweb on the celing & a nasty stained toilet.

It was also up 2 steep set of stairs. If we'd had any mobility problems or been elderly we'd have been in real trouble. I understand this is an old building & i didn't expect or want a lift but people should be warned about the access problems.

The service was civil & efficient.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank talkative
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 16, 2008

I'm just back from lunch at La Lucarne des Chouettes, and although I did not stay at the inn, I did walk through the upstairs suite so thought I could offer some useful feedback. If you disagree, feel free to skip.

First off, the auberge (inn) is very easy to find and sits at a lovely location on the river. The building is charming, having been entirely rennovated under the supervision of Leslie Caron (and her son who now lives in England) who "hates ruins" and "would rebuild the Parthenon" so that people can use it. We had lunch as a group, and had specifically arranged so that Ms. Caron would be there and have lunch with us. (She lives in Paris, but says she goes to Villeneuve-sur-Yonne about once a week.) She was very gracious and patient with our questions and posing for photos.

The food was very good with several interesting twists. For example, a mild seafood terrine was set off by a surprisingly sweet pistachio coulis. Excellent, but unexpected. A good burgundy wine from the region was served. My only quibble was with a too-bland-for-me strawberry mousse pie on a thin, sponge cake base. Another friend liked it, though. That main dessert was followed up by a plate of other sweets including guimauve (a sort of homemade marshmallow popular in France) "kebobs", almond tuiles, and small bite-sized yellow cakes.

The suite I viewed was upstairs above the reception and is referred to on the inn's web site as "The Duplex." The first room is charming and has a single bed and a fireplace, but the old steps leading up are very, very steep and narrow. The bathroom is adjacent to this 2nd floor room. There's a second, equally steep and narrow, flight of stairs up to the second room which has a double bed, sloped ceiling and big beams. Both rooms face the river and are charmingly decorated, but would not be suitable for anyone with mobility issues. I would expect the rooms to be fairly quiet for sleeping.

It is a short walk into town where a market opens on Fridays with a local specialty being honey and other bee-products. The town church is brightly lit through soaring windows in Gothic arches. The oldest portions being 800 years old. If you speak French, the man who tends it is very knowledgable and eager to show off its treasures.

Stayed: March 2008
10  Thank tcut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 25, 2007

We returned to La Lucarne aux Chouettes for a two-night stay because, at a lunch there a few years ago, we had enjoyed not only the meal but also the ambiance. First, we encountered the same quiet and reserved but thoughtful concierge. Next, we also enjoyed the same delicious cuisine, French but light, and with a very subtle Japanese touch from the chef's hand (it was somewhat uncomfortable, however, to see that the sous-chef needed his cigarette breaks). Our "suite" was classy in an old-fashioned way (the owner, sophisticated Leslie Caron, seems not to consider the practicality of a shower or at least a shower curtain). The very quiet room looked out on the graceful bridge over the placid Yonne, with little passing traffic and various people, from young mothers to venerable grandmas strolling along the river. And yet, on the other side, only one block away, runs the busy main street of Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, a lovely medieval city with apparently thriving burghers. All around, the pleasant countryside evidently remains attractive to Parisians for their weekend retreats. Tourists, on the other hand, were absent, probably because these were post-summer weekdays. But this is an ideal place for daytrips in every direction, including a good part of Burgundy. All in all, we believe that Villeneuve-s-Yonne and La Lucarne aux Chouettes offer the best and most authentic experience of la vie en France.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank trimardWashington_Va
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 28, 2007

As good a place to eat & stay as you could hope for - lived up to expectations.

Great location as well - perfect

  • Stayed: August 2007
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2  Thank RoseyLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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